A group of astronauts travel to a mysterious planet where they find an empty city. One of the crew is stung by a "bee" and when they begin traveling back to Earth the swollen sting area hatches and the crew are attacked by a swarm of "bees" that have been growing inside the crew member.

I read this story at least 20 years ago in a short story anthology book from the school library and would love to read it again!

  • 1
    This reminds me of Asimov's “Each an Explorer”, but that's probably not the same story you're asking about...
    – C.B.
    Commented Jun 2, 2013 at 0:13
  • 3
    Reminds me a little of The Meddler by Philip K Dick. A man makes 'time dips' to investigate a problem ( cannot remember the details of it) . I do remember that at one point in his travels he is attached by a swarm of bee/butterfly like insects and has to rush back to him time-pod machine. He returns to his present time, but I think one of the future insects has hitched a ride back and is the ultimate cause for the problem he was investigating.
    – Rob
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 16:39
  • Except for the bees, this reminds me of Ray Bradbury's story "The City" (aka "Purpose") which was the subject of this old question and this one and this one.
    – user14111
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 6:55
  • 4
    It was in a kid's horror anthology, but it wasn't one of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series. There was another story in there about a kid with a voodoo doll. I had a copy, but my mother took it away when I read it to my younger cousins and scared them. Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 1:57

2 Answers 2


This story is 'Thompson's Cat' by Robert Moore Williams, a short story first published in September 1952 Planet Stories. It is all there - the dead city, the 'bee' that bites the crewman, the insects that germinate inside him, insects that can only be seen by the ship's cat. They solve the problem by donning space suits and depressurizing the ship.

  • “They solve the problem by donning space suits and depressurizing the ship” — the cat’s space suit is adorable. Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 9:51

I think this MIGHT be a version of, "Starship Troopers OVA" or something similar. Not related to the "Starship Troopers" movie.

  • 5
    Can you explain why you think it matches?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 16:19
  • 4
    It is also worth noting that the OP is looking for a short story and I believe you're suggesting an anime.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 16:21
  • Unsure. It's the only think I could come up with. Sorry for the bother. Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 18:16
  • Reminds me of the movie 'Alien'.
    – cst1992
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 9:17

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